When the Shoe Doesn't Fit, Can You Trust God?
Journalism was my chosen field in college, but somehow I ended up in fundraising. One job led to another, and then morphed into another, and I found myself in a job situation that felt like a poor fit.
Nothing about raising funds, even for a great school, organization, or ministry, appealed to me in the beginning. I loved organizing the effort and could camouflage my introverted personality enough to get by, but I didn’t relish the role. I did everything I could to go back to writing or public relations, anything but fundraising.
Have you ever felt shoehorned into a role that didn’t fit? Perhaps it wasn't a job, but a life season that was uncomfortable. Maybe even now...
When we’re in that season or role, it’s hard. No joke. Eventually, with stretching (you, not the shoe), God’s plans and purposes begin to make sense. Maybe the shoe will eventually fit, or maybe God will move you to a better-fitting pair. The fundraising shoe eventually fit me well, after discovering the right motivation (helping the poor, homeless, and hungry) and the right attitude (trusting in God’s plan.)
Our relationship with Jesus makes all the difference. Do we trust him or not?
Contentment in each season isn’t a pipe dream; it is attainable. We must keep pursuing him and allow him to make the internal changes we need. He knows what is best for us because he designed us!
We WILL gain greater and greater freedom in Christ to not just survive but thrive! How? Here are three steps I’ve discovered to find joy in the often challenging journey:
SURRENDER - Give God everything, our current situation in life, our unwanted circumstances, our hopes, fears, dreams, insecurities, shortcomings. ALL OF IT! 1 Peter 5:6 TPT – “If you bow low in God's awesome presence, he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands."
REPENT for hating our current circumstances (and often blaming God for them). God loves to give us new beginnings, fresh starts, and fulfillment, but we must allow him to reframe our thoughts and desires. He can and will change our hearts and attitudes. But we must agree with his Word that he is FOR US and NOT against us. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV - “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
DELIGHT in our friendship with the King of the universe! When we are in sync with the Holy Spirit, who lives inside us as believers in Jesus Christ, our desires begin to mesh with his. When we want what he wants, we experience not just contentment, but JOY. Psalm 37:4-5 NIV – “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.”
I had an epiphany this week as I left home to drive across Tulsa to explore the possibility of a retail shop/interior designer to sell my artwork: Not only was this something I never dreamed of doing, but just a few years ago, I couldn’t have done it! Too much fear. Too self conscious. Too performance driven. I would have been too afraid of rejection to even try. My job as a major gifts fundraiser helped push me out of my comfort zone, learn to build new relationships, and ask for funds for a worthy cause. Trust me, that’s a stretching experience.
Because of my fundraising training, I know that even if they say no to selling my artwork, I will hear “not yet.” I will have made a new friend. I will have learned what is popular right now - colors, design, motifs. Come to think of it, I learned a lot from my years in fundraising.
One season primes us for the next in God’s economy and teaches us to be content where we are. God has a plan and a purpose for everything.
Paul said it best: “I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." Philippians 4:12-13 MSG
"But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 NIV
I wish I had learned how to be content sooner. But that's the point: it's a learning process. We must trust the Teacher and be a good student!
OH! TULSA EXHIBIT at Living Arts of Tulsa in downtown Tulsa continues through October 8. On Friday, October 1, from 6 to 9 pm, they will have another First Friday open house to view the awesome artwork of about 50 Tulsa artists. Here's the link to register for free tickets: CLICK HERE Here's the link to view all the artwork in the exhibit.
FINAL VERSION of "Galloping, Galloping," acrylic inks on 30x30" gallery-wrapped canvas. I invite you to browse my Art Gallery. Art prices for originals have been lowered to make room for new paintings and for the upcoming Christmas season. Click on each image for more info and prices. Email me if interested in an original!
Blessings to you, my friend. Thank you for joining me on this journey into learning more about how God designed us. The goal is freedom to soar as we delight in him!